Despite ban, unabated use of polythene continues in Srinagar

Wahid Bhat

Srinagar, Nov 29: Even though the use of polythene is officially banned, but its use is seen everywhere especially in the Srinagar city; courtesy the miserable failure of Srinagar Municipal Corporation (SMC) to control this menace.
However, the SMC way back in 2009 had launched a massive anti-polythene drive but that didn’t sustain for long. Now with every other day the use of polythene is increasing. The fruit vendors especially outside hospitals like SMHS,JVC, GB Panth are selling fruits openly in these polythene bags.
The data available with Pollution Control Board shows that around five to six polythene bags are used by each house hold in Srinagar daily. Environmental experts are also of the opinion that if the pace at which the polythene is consumed continues, it could be a serious threat to the environment and its water bodies.
Earlier, the authorities had made joint teams of Srinagar District Administration (SDA) and Srinagar Municipal Corporation to frequently raid shopkeepers and roadside vendors, but from last one year these checking squads seem to be in hibernation.
“There was some ban of it but now things are back to square one,” says Burhan Ahmad, a local.
People say instead of cracking-down on shopkeepers and vendors against the use polythene bags, the government should address its root cause.
“Why not to raid the go-downs where the polythene is dumped. Aren’t enforcement squads and Police aware of this, but due to some unknown reasons they don’t raid these big godowns,” alleged a local vendor.
Noted environmentalists say there is a dire need of proper planning to ensure an effective complete ban on polythene use. He said the ‘land of Kashmir’ is very sensitive and polythene will destroy its fertility. “It takes 1,000 years for polythene to get decomposed,” he said. (PTK)